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Installing Sun VirtualBox 1.6 on Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04

Several challenges were overcome in the installation process of VirtualBox 1.6 on both my desktop Dell Optiplex GX620 and my IBM Lenovo X60, both running Hardy Heron.  For those who don’t know, VirtualBox is an open-source GUI interface software for building multiple virtual machines.  Yes, open source meaning free.  There are versions for nearly every operating system.  My goal today was installing it on the Ubuntu 8.04.  First was simply downloading it from the right source!

So my ignorance led me to think installing software from the repositories was the best way to go.  While it certainly is for managing upgrades, not the case with VirtualBox.  Download it straight from Sun.  Make sure you have any pre-existing installations completely removed first.

After installation you’ll need to do two tasks.  First, add all of your users to the vboxusers group through System > Administration > Users & Groups.  Secondly, for both my laptop and desktop I received an unfriendly error: Could not load the Host USB Proxy Service (VERR_FILE_NOT_FOUND).  To fix this, edit /etc/init.d/mountdevsubfs.sh.  Run the following command:

sudo gedit /etc/init.d/mountdevsubfs.sh

Then uncomment, or delete all of the # in front of the following lines…

mkdir -p /dev/bus/usb/.usbfs
domount usbfs “” /dev/bus/usb/.usbfs -obusmode=0700….
ln -s .usbfs/devices /dev/bus/usb/devices
mount –rbind /dev/bus/usb /proc/bus/usb

Finally, reboot your system and you should be good to create your first Windows box.  The fun doesn’t end here though.

If you read through the VirtualBox documentation, you’ll see that they have kindly created an ISO which includes necessary driver files for Vista virtual machines and the like, entitled the Windows Guest Additions (Section 4.2 in the documentation).  Problem is, their documentation tells you the wrong place to find the ISO, /opt/VirtualBox.  Good luck finding anything there.  The ISO is actually located in /usr/share/virtualbox/.  After mounting, fire up the Vista box, go to My Computer and see the file as your CD Rom drive, open it up and run the executable file and you are officially off to the races.  If you don’t install the application, good luck trying to do any sort of networking inside the virtual machine.

Enjoy!

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  • Update here – After installing, all of a sudden my wireless drivers freaked out because I had installed Madwifi from the trunk instead of using the linux-restricted-modules. Virtualbox then saw that there were more than one version of the same drivers present and made wifi stop working. Uninstalling the linux-restricted-modules brought everything back to life. This is documented here: http://madwifi.org/ticket/1114

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